Your Life, You Choose - Year 7 'Choose a Different Ending'

Year 7 were treated to an eye-opening all day session about the consequences of crime and the impact it would have on their lives. The 'Your Life, You Choose' workshop is aimed at deterring young people from a life of crime by making them aware of the consequences, not only to themselves if they become offenders, but also the effects it will have on their parents, friends and victims. It also showed them how easily a young person can be drawn into a gang and have subsequent involvement in crime.

The workshops were delivered by a variety of professionals including Magistrates, Police, Prison Officers, Youth Offending Service and Addaction, the drugs and alcohol addiction and recovery service.

Brandon said: 'I learnt today that it’s very bad to get a criminal record because it can affect your whole life.

For example, the scenario we watched in the session, taking out a little kitchen knife could mean a lot of bad consequences.

You’re not allowed to leave the country if your passport is not updated, you can’t get a job, or go to university.

You can’t have all the luxuries of the people that don’t have a criminal record, so that's why it's so bad.'

Asked what the day had taught her, Bano explained: 'It’s been helpful and scary because now you know what happens if you do something bad even though it wasn’t your fault.'

We also learned what happens during the court section with the judges and how they come to the decision of the sentence of your imprisonment.'

Left: A prison officer talks about daily routines in prison and shows the clothes prisoners wear.

Speaking about how easily young people can end up in unpleasant situations, Olivia continued: 'When we watched the video it showed even just bumping into someone and saying ‘Hi’ can lead to really bad things like drug dealing.

If there is somebody who’s graffitiing, when the boy talked to him it all started from there; he started meeting up with him and getting stolen merchandise from him. Then he was rejecting his family and school and being on his own all the time with this stranger.'

Bano concludes with the most important message from the day: 'Choose a better ending rather than the one where you’re going to get in trouble, even though it’s not your fault.

Instead of one of your friends saying: ‘Come with us we’re going to steal something’ and doing a joint enterprise you can say no and not go with them to do the crime.'

Thank you to all of the organisations that spent the day enlightening our students about the consequences of their actions and encouraging them to make intelligent decisions.